Here’s Looking at You, Grid: Monthly Digest of Insights Shared by Your Peers in the Energy Central Grid Network – June 4, 2021

Posted to Energy Central in the Grid Professionals Group
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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Jun 4, 2021 12:45 pm GMT

The grid is often called the largest and most complex machine that engineers have ever created, and that was before the advent of smart grid technology, modernized solutions, and more taking place across T&D infrastructure all the time today. Keeping up with the developments on grid technology, associated grid markets, and appropriate regulations and policies can be a full-time job, but with the aid of the Grid Network on Energy Central (composed of the Grid Professionals Group and the Transmission Professionals Group) you can be privy to the best shortcut to stay up to date on the news, musings, and debates shaping the grid today.



Grid Modernization Special Issue

Link to Special Issue Articles:  

Earlier this month, we put out a call to the Energy Central Community to share what was on their minds regarding the challenges today's grid is facing and the solutions that will overcome those hurdles, on the future technologies and innovations that will start transforming the grid this year, on the investment being made in the modern grid, and more. As expected, the community followed through with some can't-miss thought leadership insights that I feel confident can directly be taken as a roadmap to the future of the grid! The full list of articles submitted by our thought leaders can be found at the above link, I highly recommend you carve out some time to read through the headlines and pick out a handful of articles to read with your cup of coffee sometime this weekend.


Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast Episodes Focusing on Grid

Podcast Episode #34: ‘Taking the Grid of Tomorrow from Concept to Reality with Mark Gabriel, Former Administrator and CEO of Western Area Power Administration

Episode #35: ‘The Whole Grid and Nothing But the Whole Grid’ with Doug Houseman, Principal Consultant at 1898 & Co.

Special Edition: "Innovative Microgrid Solutions Across New York" with Bruce Schadler, Director of Project Management at SourceOne


To go along with the Grid Modernization Special Issue, our official Energy Central podcast put out episodes all focused on technology and programs related to the grid during the past month. With great guests like Mark Gabriel as he departed as CEO of WAPA, Energy Central mainstay Doug Houseman, and microgrid leader Bruce Schadler, there’s a lot to learn about the grid from the podcast this month. Load these up onto your phone and listen in as you do the chores, drive to work, or lounge in the sun this weekend.


Tesla Powerwalls hooked up to provide grid frequency balancing in Vermont utility pilot

Frank McCamant

Link to original article:

Among grid topics, the impact and rollout of energy storage is no doubt one of the trendiest topics, and there are countless stakeholders among those developments. One of the most visible, of course, remains Tesla and in this article from Frank McCamant we see that Tesla’s latest generation of Powerwalls are being used in a utility pilot in Vermont to provide grid frequency balancing, one of the less discussed but most important contributions of distributed energy generation. If you think batteries are only good for load shifting or in times of blackouts, read Frank’s great article here to learn more.


Going into summer, grid operators are on the edge

Rao Konidena

Link to original article:

Last, but certainly not least, is this article from Rao Konidena of Rakon Energy LLC that dives into another important topic you’ll be reading about for the coming weeks: grid operators across the country preparing for the summer months and the increased power demand that comes with heat waves. Recent summers have been plagued with brown outs, black outs, and PSPS events, and so grid operators have been working around the clock to harden and prepare their assets, but Rao highlights the uncertainty and risks that remain. A great primer on the potential summertime issues coming to the U.S. power sector this summer, you don’t want to miss this one.




This wraps up another edition of ‘Here’s Looking at You, Grid.’ Check back in this spot in four weeks to see what submissions have captured the attention of our community. And if you think there are stories I’m missing—let me know in the comments, or better yet submit an article on those stories so it can be included in the next issue. Make sure you don’t miss out on these shared insights in the future.

If you're not yet a member of the EC Grid Network, follow the link to 'JOIN NOW!' Then select the "join option" in the top right of the group page.  If you are not yet registered, you will be prompted to create a profile first.

As a member, you'll not only be able to read what your fellow peers are saying but also be able to join in on the conversations by sharing your insights (which might get featured in a future monthly digest!). Plus, you can start a conversation by discussing articles with peers in the comments section, and you will automatically be signed up to receive the Network's weekly newsletter.

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Larry Eisenberg's picture
Larry Eisenberg on Jun 7, 2021

Hi Matt and All:  In watching the discussion about the future of the grid, a fundamental question crossed my mind.  Shouldn't we be using some of the billions that will be forthcoming from the feds for infrastructure to create a fully resilient grid by putting the vast majority of it underground ? With climate change already creating unrecognizable weather patterns, with fire season now a year-round phenomenon, and active terrorism from multiple state actors and home bred types, an underground highly secure grid with both long distance high tension lines and last mile lines all uniformly placed into high security weather proof / vandal proof / fire proof tunnels would make a lot of sense.  The history of the grid development is about how to do it in the cheapest way possible.  Yes, proper under grounding would cost a huge amount of money.  It would also create a huge amount of very well paying jobs.  The technology to do this is readily available. It would also create long term savings when we do not have to replace power lines due to fire and weather events.  Not to mention the aesthetic value of an urban and rural landscape free of the blight of power lines. Had we made this decision a long time ago, the billions devoted to rebuilding power lines after they have burned downed or been trashed by the latest tornado and/or hurricane would have gotten us a long way toward the goal of a resilient modern and stable grid that can support whatever the future of energy generation is. 

Look forward to other's thoughts on the issue.

Thanks, Larry Eisenberg



Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 7, 2021

Definitely agree with you, Larry. I feel a great sense of 'if not now, when' regarding investing in the grid. Obviously the past year has been rough economically, but it's resulted in even more eagerness to invest in jobs, in spending, in infrastructure-- it seems like  now would be the critical opportunity to invest in the grid, and it happens to come at a time when there's no shortage of potential projects there. I really hope this doesn't end up as a wasted opportunity. 

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